Reading Response: Fogarty (2016) Chapter 6: Time Matters, Chapter 7: Literacy Matters, & Chapter 10: Instruction is Assessment, Assessment as Instruction
In chapter 6 Fogarty tackles the subject of how time is handled in schools. She introduces different alternatives to the traditional model of school, where the students are required to spend all their time being present at the school and in the classroom. The alternatives that she introduces are hybrid classes, flip classes, or online classes, where the students have more freedom to self-regulate their learning time.
She also explains that students in a well-balanced teaching-learning environment need three forms of time: 1. Study time, 2. Play time, and 3. Down-time. Study time is pretty self-explanatory and is basically what most schools consist of the whole day. Fogarty writes that play-time and down-time are often overlooked, but are crucial for the students learning as well. She argues that even big companies such as google introduced play-time for their employees, where they can do sports or explore their own interests, so it wouldn’t be far fetched to introduce play-time in school. Down-time is another important factor, because students can’t be “on” the whole day.
I have to agree with Fogarty about how important all three forms of time are for the students. Luckily my AT valued all three-time forms in her classroom. She would often just let the students stay outside after recess for a few minutes, so that they can burn their energy and play for a while, and then come back inside ready to learn. She also introduced “down-time” in form of mindfulness and breathing exercises, which also helped the students to focus better.
Chapter 7 “Literacy matters” is almost self-explanatory, because Fogarty explains how important literacy is. She explains the three basic skills that all students need to become literate: 1. Vocabulary, 2. Fluency and 3. Comprehension. She describes how these different skills look like. At the end of the chapter she also introduces some other forms of literacy, such as digital, media and global literacy.
Literacy is definitely an extremely important skill for everyone to have. Without being literate, we couldn’t really function in society. I think it is very interesting to see how fast kids can pick up a (new) language and learn how to read and write. I was especially impressed by the ESL students in my grade 1 class last. In the beginning the didn’t speak a word and at the end of my practicum they were able to speak fluently.
In chapter 10 “Instruction is Assessment” Fogarty argues that indeed instruction is a form of assessment. She describes the two schools of thoughts in relation to instruction and assessment. On the one side there are the scholars and teachers who believe that instruction provides and opportunity for assessment and on the other side there are the scholars and teachers who believe that instruction and assessment are on and the same.
Fogarty introduces five different assessment strategies that ensure that the students actually comprehended the material that was covered. For all five strategies the teacher has to assess while she or he instructs. The strategies are: Revisit, Review, Reflect, Reteach, Revise (5 R).
I think that instruction and assessment are very closely interconnected, but I don’t know if I would say that all forms of instruction are automatically assessment. However, I guess that assessment happens all the time, even if you are only observing the students. I can see how assessment and instruction are the same in the 5-Rs strategies that Fogarty wrote about, and I believe using the 5-Rs can be very helpful for comprehension in the classroom.